“Cooperatores”: March-April issue 1997
Magazine of the Association of the Salesian Cooperators
Open Letter of the World Coordinator
Mr. Roberto Lorenzini
My dear friends,
It may be that not everyone has a clear idea of the sense of our Promise and of our membership of the Salesian family.
Essentially it is a matter of putting Jesus at the center of our heart, of our thoughts, of our life, in the conviction that his Spirit is sending us to take to young people our own experience of Him. If we do not do this our work is of no avail, as Christians we are ineffective, and as Salesians likewise. As Cooperators we have to make this the style of our lay spirituality: in our family, in our place of work, in the world in general, with the intention of rendering Christ visible through our own attitudes, behavior and actions.
It is time for us to be clear in making it understood, especially in the so called developed societies, that there is no future for humanity unless it puts God in the first place.
We must have the courage to proclaim Christ’s truth: on human life from the first moment of conception, in the womb of the natural mature, without artificial insemination or cloning; on matrimonial fidelity at all costs for a united family founded on the mutual love of a man and a woman; on the loving perseveration of life to the natural last breath; on respect for human dignity strating from the very smallest.
The courage to denounce abuse of power, violence, injustice, unlawful business deals, oppressive humiliation of the weak at the hands of shameless bullies and political wolves in sheep’s clothing. Even though it may cost us a good deal personally!
The courage to boycott the mass media which distort the concept of freedom, disjoining it from any responsibility in a permissiveness which says yes to drugs, yet to the deranged behavior at discotheques, yes to every experience which puts at risk one’s own life and that of others, yest to every kind of so called sexual experience; and the courage on the other hand to bear witness to chastity in all its forms, in the young, in marriage, and in religious or consecrated life.
Don Bosco wanted to save souls and we, as Cooperators, have the same desire. As lay people we want to save souls by preparing a terrain in society in which the plans of Christ can be welcomed.
Human life is a gift of God, the project of an infinite Love for eternal happiness with Him. We cannot fail to proclaim it from the rooftops: This is what Jesus came for. For this God raised up Don Bosco. For this each one of us is called by the Spirit; through Baptism, through Confirmation, through our Promise.
There, dear brother and sister Cooperators, in these poor lines of Cooperatores (which in fact are not poor at all in their content!) you have something to help us to live out our lives effectively.
But there, allow me to give vent to a deep feeling. Unfortunately I have the impression, that the commitment behind these poor lines is not always taken seriously by all Leaders. Behind them lie hours and hours of work. Days and sleepless nights of people who prepare articles and make translations. If we do not all make our contribution of subscription, of writing articles and make translations, there ‘poor lines’ will become so poor that they will disappear altogether.
I’m speaking from my heart.
Our Association is sustained by voluntary work. To help us to be what Don Bosco and the Church ask us to be, TO BE WHAT WE OURSELVES HAVE CHOSEN TO BE, there is need of volunteers, volunteers and still more volunteers.
The COOPERATORS ASSOCIATION, is not something belonging to the Salesians (SDB) or to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). It is OURS!
Are you aware that the majority of these translations are done by SDBs? But what kind of lay people are we? It is possible that among us Cooperators we do not have some expert translators?
As members of the Salesian Family we are working together for the same mission; we are formed together and we mutually support each other, but we Cooperators must become financially autonomous. I beg you to read over again the first part of the letter on ‘Financial solidarity’ sent to all Provincial Councils by the World Council Administrator, Oliviero Zolli.
The Association is God’s gift to help us to be Christians who make a decisive option for Christ, cost what it may, in the style of Don Bosco.
But a milk and water Association, in which we take part if we have time, to which we go for a rest, to which we contribute as though we were just benefactors, that kind of Association is of no use and has no future.
Let each member go to the Leaders and ask in all sincerity: What can I do to give growth to the Association? Listen and then get busy doing something right away. There is no time to lose!
My best wishes to you all, that you may be truly COURAGEOUS.
Mr. Roberto Lorenzini, World Coordinator
March 1997 issue of ‘COOPERATORES’
(former ASC world animation magazine)